On the second national walk out in opposition to the government’s education policy, protesters have led an occupation of the central administrative offices at the University of Leeds. The Ziff Building, which contains the Vice Chancellor’s office, was briefly taken by students after a march through Leeds city centre.
The march moved from the University of Leeds to the Town Hall via Leeds Metropolitan University. It was heavily policed and attempts were made to stop the march from leaving its starting point on Woodhouse Lane. Protesters were pushed about and detained in a ‘kettle’ before forcing their way out. At least one person was arrested.
Upon returning to the University of Leeds, protesters went back to the occupied lecture theatre to hear a series of speeches. This was followed by a proposal for a ‘flash occupation’ of the Ziff building, which was agreed upon by a vote. A crowd of around 60 people, including secondary, college and university students, UCU members, and local residents occupied the building for around 30 minutes.
Outside of the Ziff building, arguments broke out as some protesters instructed people to abandon the flash occupation and return to the Michael Sadler Building, which has been occupied for the last six days, whilst others stayed to cheer the action.
The ROU would like to commend those that took part in today’s flash occupation. In a week that saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Colosseum occupied, we see this action as part of the latest wave of global struggle against ideologically-driven cuts.